For far too many years I thought buying gifts was the way to go, but the lights have come on ("at last" my hubby would say) and the thoughtfulness of making a gift far outweighs anything shop bought.
Mama and Bumps never bought me gifts. They made me gifts. How I wish I could go back in time and show more appreciation for my home made treats, or beautiful old books passed down to me with hand stitched covers. I still have my sewing basket Mama made me. It is adorned with hand made raffeta flowers and inside it lies an envelope of needles -untouched and treasured.
Bumps used to give me "driving lesson vouchers" - see cowpat blog... or a box of pellets and permission to use the pellet gun - under supervision of course. He would draw funny faces on over ripe paw paws and we would spend hours at the bottom of the garden - far away from Mama's sight and earshot, shooting the hell out of paw paw faces.
In my stocking on Christmas morning I would find a pretty package of delicious butter biscuits, painstakingly decorated with assorted colour icing and little silver balls. These biscuits came in all shapes, but my favorite ones were the white kitty biscuits with little ribbons tied around each neck and silver balls for eyes.
Now that I am older, I cherish the time it took to make these gifts. Not just any old batch of cookies bunged in the oven and placed in a cellophane bag, but each biscuit a treasure on its own. Each one carefully decorated, every dot of icing specially thought out and each perfectly tied bow showing how much I was loved.
That is what made my two very special Christmas with Mama and Bumps so wonderful and unforgettable - their time, effort and genuine love for me shown in every action.
Mama's Christmas biscuits
What you need: (makes 10 kitty biscuits so double as needed)
- 2 cups of plain flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- A good pinch of salt
- 1 cup icing sugar
- 1/2 cup milk
- 100 grams cold butter
- Icing sugar and assorted food colourants
- A little water
- Thin ribbons, silver balls, 100's & 1000's, anything you like!
- Box or gift bag to wrap them in
How to make:
- Sift the flour, icing sugar, baking powder and salt twice.
- Cut in the butter using a butter knife as your hands will warm the mixture too much.
- Pour in the milk a little at a time because you want a stiff dough not a sloppy one.
- As soon as you have a nice ball of dough, roll out using a rolling pin till about 5cm thick.
- Try to handle the dough as little as possible.
- Use your choice of cookie cutter and cut out shapes.
- Place on a greased biscuit tray and bake in the oven for about 12 minutes on 180 degrees until a pale golden colour. Take out of oven and let cool.
To make the icing:
- In separate bowls make up batches of icing using icing sugar, food colourant and tiny amounts of water. You want a lazy dropping consistency so you can drizzle over the cookies.
- Decorate biscuits as you like!